All posts from

August 2011



A smörgåsbord of mushrooms (first course)

I went out for a little walk around Whitwell Moor yesterday. The weather was typical summer 2011 stuff – hot but cloudy. In the middle of the moor there is a little wood which is much longer than it is wide. The bottom part of the wood is mostly Scots pine and larch, and I would guess that at some time in the distant past it was planted by human hands. The upper part of the wood is predominantly downy birch (Betula pubescens) with some English oak (Quercus robur). I would guess that this part of the wood is very old (who would plant downy birch?), and it was here that I found lots and lots of mushrooms.

A mushroom from the genus Leccinum. My best guess is Leccinum quercinum (orange oak bolete), but I really couldn’t say.

?????

I’m fairly sure this is a Russula nitida (purple swamp brittlegill). This species grows under birch, especially in damp areas.

?????
Clearly past its best.

Another ?????
Found growing at the edge of the wood where the trees give way to the heather and bilberry of the moor.

This one might be an Amanita – are those cap scales? How would you describe that mottling? Snakeskin? Tortoiseshell?

Here’s one I can actually identify. It’s an immature Piptoporus betulinus (razor strop or birch polypore) emerging from a piece of dead birch.

This pair also belong in the genus Leccinum - given away by the scabers on the stalk (which are unfortunately obscured in this photo). Do they belong to the same species as the first mushroom of this post? I don’t know. The caps are a deeper brown, but that might not mean anything.


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August’s edition of the Festival of the Trees is hosted by Beyond the Brambles.


Posted in Gone for a walk





A smörgåsbord of mushrooms (second course)

…Continued from the first course.

I went out for a little walk around Whitwell Moor last week. The weather was typical summer 2011 stuff – hot but cloudy. In the middle of the moor there is a little wood which is much longer than it is wide. The upper part of the wood is predominantly downy birch (Betula pubescens) with some English oak (Quercus robur). I would guess that this part of the wood is very old, and it was here that I found lots and lots of mushrooms.

Before we carry on with the fungi, here’s a glimpse of this birchwood to which you have already been introduced. Old, gnarly, many-limbed downy birches abound – this one is a fine example. The ground layer is made up of short grasses and scattered bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) bushes.

It’s a lovely place to linger.

This is a bolete… it’s a Leccinum… and that’s as far as my certainty goes. I’m tentatively going with an ID of Leccinum scabrum (brown birch bolete) because the scabers (stem scales) are black – if they had been buff or fox-coloured I’d have gone with Leccinum quercinum (orange oak bolete). I don’t think it’s a Leccinum versipelle (orange birch bolete) because the cap does not have an overhanging rim.

For the same reasons I think this too is a L. scabrum (brown birch bolete), but an older, more tired specimen.

This mushroom may be an immature Amanita fulva (tawny grisette), a species that favours birch woodland. From Jordan’s Fungi: “usually without cap patches but with volval bag… [cap] occasionally with brownish velar patches” – I believe the creamy covering on the right side of the cap is such a patch (a remnant of the veil). At the bottom of the stem are the remains of the white volval bag.

I fancy this yellow fellow is a Russula claroflava (yellow swamp russula / yellow swamp brittlegill), a species that is found in damp places under birch.

I guess these belong in the genus Russula, but I’m stumped again. I give up. They do look nice though.

Let’s end with an old favourite - an immature Piptoporus betulinus (razor strop / birch polypore) bursting in slow motion from the chest of downy birch.


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The Nature Conservancy’s 6th Annual Digital Photo Competition

This year, it's easier than ever to enter using your Facebook log-in info or through The Nature Conservancy's Flickr Group.

Original digital photos that feature the natural wonders of the lands, waters, plants, animals and people around the world are all eligible for the competition.

This year at least 35 photos will be selected as honorable mentions and finalists, and our online community will vote for their favorite images to determine the winners. The grand prize winner will be featured on the cover of the 2013 Nature Conservancy calendar. Proceeds from calendar sales help support our many programs to protect wildlife and their habitats.

Photographers will retain the rights to all their submissions. This competition is open to all photographers age 18 years or older regardless of residence or citizenship, as long as the laws of their jurisdiction allow participation. You can find more details here. Photo submissions must be uploaded by 11:59 pm PST Monday, September 12, 2011.

For more details, please visit photocontest.nature.org.


Posted in Gone for a walk





Macro monochromes from around Whitwell Moor

Taken August 3rd.

Larch cone.

Larch cascade.

Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) bark.

Beech (Fagus sylvatica) leaf.

Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) berries.


Posted in Gone for a walk












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